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Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond

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Third trimester: Your changing body

diagram showing baby in stomach.

Your growing baby and growing uterus decrease your mobility. This may mean that you will need to cut back on some of your activities.

It may also increase some of your discomforts. You may have to be creative to find comfortable positions during the day and at night.

You have an increased awareness of your growing baby. Now is a good time to start talking, reading and/or singing to your baby.

Physical changes

Breast changes

Your breasts are the size they are likely to be in the weeks after your baby is born. You can buy a nursing bra in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Consider going to a store that offers professional fitting to help you get the correct size and a style that works for you.

Tip

Although breastfeeding is natural, it is also a skill.

Taking a breastfeeding class before your baby is born will help you feel more confident. You will learn positions and techniques that will make the early weeks easier as you and your baby get used to nursing.

The class will also help you decide what supplies you want to have on hand. If you plan to use ba breast pump, the class can help you decide what type is the best for you

If you are concerned about having tender nipples, spend time each day without a bra or wearing a nursing bra with the flaps down so that your nipples come in contact with your shirt.

Toward the end of pregnancy you may notice a small amount of yellowish fluid leaking from your nipples. This is colostrum, the first milk. You can gently rub it into your nipple area or wash it off with water.

It is best not to try to release (express) this fluid from your breasts because your baby will need it after birth.

In addition, expressing colostrum can stimulate contractions. If it is before 37 weeks, these contractions can result in your baby being born too soon.


 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, sixth edition, preg-ahc-90026, ISBN 1-931876-25-8

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 08/22/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts